I'm really excited about the new class, And Everything Else (When You Can't Carry a Gun). Part of my work behind the scenes is deciding what class to hold when, and figuring out what areas women want and need training in. This class really solidified during my trip in July and with the need of one of my assistants, Dara, who is traveling this summer to states where she cannot carry a gun. She voiced to me that she felt defenseless, and that got me to working on a plan to make her NOT defenseless. I admit, I prefer to carry a gun every opportunity, but there are times that I simply cannot, and yet I don't feel defenseless during those times. So that thought was the inspiration to get this class finished and on the schedule. As with all my classes, I am teaching something that I have practiced myself and frankly don't always think about it being something everybody doesn't know, and yet women in general don't know these things...and knowing them will give you a greater ability to defend yourselves.
I'm not a complicated person, nor do I have extra brain cells to retain a bunch of information (info falls out of my head on my pillow more and more the older I get, LOL), nor am I super fit so that I can screech like a Ninja and throw someone across the room (well, I can screech but I can't throw someone across the room!), so in other words I'm just like any of you...which means what I do, and what I will teach you to do, is all stuff all of you can do. I developed a lot of my own techniques for this class because, A) I couldn't find simple and viable techniques out there and B) this needs to work for average, everyday women, which means not some complicated thing that takes years to learn or requires a certain fitness level.
Dara and I spent about three hours doing a personalized training session this week...after three hours she already felt considerably more capable to defend herself. Here are her comments:
Are you going where you can't carry a firearm? You don't have to go completely defenseless. I am planning a trip through some of the most firearm unfriendly states in the country this summer, and can't take my favorite summer carry, a Smith & Wesson M&P compact. But I WILL NOT be defenseless thanks to an "And Everything Else..." session with Tammy. She teaches simple techniques using natural movements that we use in our lives every day and a few items you may already own to fend off an attack and go on the offensive. I have to say that watching someone else do this stuff is scary. My attitude toward someone carrying a cane has already changed considerably. With just a little practice you can look and feel quite competent, yes, even scary.
September starts OPD's regular schedule up again, which you can see since I have three classes scheduled for September (see below)! I'm also working on lining up the next all women SDA (conceal carry) class, hopefully in October.
Financial Aid for Classes
There is assistance available for anyone who has difficulty paying for a class. I understand that there will be times a person just can't afford a class, or perhaps wants to attend more than one and having the funds is a hardship. I charge minimal fees for classes to cover my own costs (facility, equipment, gas, food) but I don't ever want anyone to not be able to attend a class because of money. So if you need help with that, please let me know.
Between the Threat and the Bang
September 4th from 10 am to 3 pm
Earl's BBQ, Moore
$45.00, includes lunch
This class identifies and teaches several steps that can and should occur between the time a woman feels threatened and the time she may need to draw a gun in self-defense. Students practice situational awareness, posturing and commanding, and ultimately drawing from a holster.
This is a good beginning place to start working on situational awareness through the practice drills we do in class. It is also a good opportunity to learn to properly draw from a holster. Many people assume this is something you'll automatically know how to do, but there is a technique to doing so without shooting yourself. If you carry a gun, this class is a must!
Blueguns and holsters will be provided for drawing from concealment drills. If you carry your gun in a purse, bring the purse, you'll use one of the Blueguns to learn to draw it. Register
And Everything Else
When You Can't Carry a Gun
September 18th from 10 am to 3 pm
Earl's BBQ, Moore
$45.00, includes lunch
This is a brand new class that trains you to use kubotans (keychain mini-baton), hands, flashlights, pens, canes/walking sticks, and common everyday items for those times when you cannot carry a gun. Like everything else I teach, these are techniques that anybody and everybody can do. You'll learn how to use common items to legitimately defend yourself. Have you heard the story about the guy who can kill somebody with a pen? It's not a story, I learned how to do that, and yes, I could kill somebody with a pen if I needed to! Did you know there are even "special" pens out there, made of special material, called tactical pens? Yes, they write, but they are also very capable of killing someone. Smith & Wesson makes one that's only $25 so quite affordable. I will have some in class and will demonstrate how to use them. We'll also do cane/walking stick drills to practice how to defend yourself from attackers, whether armed or not. I'll show you how to use these various "weapons" – though we shall refrain from killing anyone with a pen (this is when "Rent a Thug" would come in handy!!)
If you're thinking, "I don't need a cane, why would I carry one?" Well, are you going to the courthouse and don't want to be "defenseless" when you come out to the parking lot (since you have to disarm)? Are you going on a plane and you can't carry any weapon? I'm going to show you how to take down one or more attackers with a wooden cane...which of course you can carry right into a courthouse or onto a plane because it's not a weapon.
There will be times you simply can not carry a gun – you do NOT need to feel defenseless during those times! This class will empower you to protect yourself with everyday items. Register
Girls Day Out.
A Prep Class for Carrying a Gun
September 25th from 10 am to 4 pm
Earl's BBQ, Moore
$45.00, includes lunch
This is a great class to help you prepare for the conceal carry class or to become more comfortable with carrying your gun after you've taken the class. This class gives you the education you need to make wise decisions such as how to safely handle a gun, how to choose the right gun for you, and how to carry it once you have your gun. One of the great features of this class is the special speaker, typically a law enforcement officer who speaks about crime prevention. I'm waiting to hear back from a couple of speakers so I don't yet know who it will be for this class. Check the Schedule page the website as I will post it there as soon as I know who it will be.
A lot of women come to Girls Day Out in groups because it's a whole lot of fun to do together! Register
Refresher Class: If you've already BTB or GDO, you may take the class again to hone up on your skills for $25.00. Choose Refresher on the registration page.
Space on all classes is limited and they tend to fill up fast, so don't delay registering if you plan to attend. As always, there's chocolate involved in all classes :)
Q: If I live in another city/county than where you teach, can I still take the SDA class from you?
A: Yes. You must file your SDA license application with the sheriff of your county of residence, but you may take the class from any certified Oklahoma SDA Instructor.
Here's how it works...
At the end of your SDA (conceal carry) class, upon successful completion of the class you will be given a certificate with my signature and instructor number on it. You take the original certificate along with the rest of your application information to the sheriff of the county where you reside, and they submit the application packet to OSBI. OSBI has my instructor certification on file, and the certificates I give you at the end of class are official CLEET documents, so OSBI knows the certificates are legit...after they do your background check, they issue your conceal carry license.
You can see all the steps in order on the OSBI website here.
Send me your questions.
I have a lot of students ask me about the validity of being a Christian and carrying a gun. Many people believe that the Bible, and even Jesus Himself, teach that it is not okay for a person to be a Christian and carry a gun...this because of the inevitable potential of killing someone. I have addressed this issue several times on an individual basis, and I recently addressed it in response to a newsletter post by one of my teachers, international firearms instructor John Farnam. John is an excellent instructor whose practical, no-nonsense tactics just work. He has been around the world and he knows what's out there (most of us have no true grasp of the evil that ravages women every day). John tells it like it is. He gave me permission to repost his letter here.
Proud to be Stupid?
23 July 10
"Who are afraid to fall on their face, will invariably fall on their ass!"
Tempestuous comments from the willfully naive, with regard to my last Quip:
"I'm perfectly happy, and willing, to deal with the consequences of my
choices, because my choices are guided by a Higher Wisdom than are yours and
have protected me from extensive, life-threatening, multiple perils in my
life, without a gun ever having to be present..."
She says that now, while comfortably fat, dumb, and happy! Philosophical
discussions are always best done on a full stomach, eh?
It is astonishing to me that there are still so many of these vain,
conceited, self-satisfied twits, ever-dripping with religious overtones, who
smugly insist that God will shield them from all the uncertainties of life,
because they are apparently so wonderful that they have somehow earned it!
When it is pointed out to them that nearly all old-testament prophets,
along with new-testament disciples and apostles alike were ultimately homicide
victims, they continue to arrogantly claim that "divine protection" is
their right. God apparently owes them!
When disaster strikes, her egotistical "amour-propre" will precipitously,
piteously be converted to anguished cries of "... this is so unfair!"
... always the "famous last words" of losers!
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I have to say as a believer in a Higher Wisdom than yours (or mine) that I wholeheartedly agree......with you!
Evidently this woman hasn’t actually read and understood the Bible, where capital punishment (the best crime deterrent ever) is not only commanded but accepted as a way of life; believers (including those closest to Jesus, the apostles) did in fact carry and use the weapons of their time – knives, swords and rocks – to stab, slash and bludgeon their opponents; and Jesus himself was no doormat, though many Christians would have those too lazy to read and comprehend the Bible believing so (read Revelation to see what kind of a warrior Jesus really is). The Bible is filled from Genesis to Revelation with God’s people killing their enemies, and anyone who reads the Bible historically and in its original context and languages can understand that this also included SELF-DEFENSE. Of course they defended themselves from those who would kill them, otherwise why did they take up arms and why was it recorded in history in the Bible?
I happily admit that I too am guided by a Wisdom higher than yours (or mine) and He has in fact protected me many times in my 45 years from many perils, including death and worse than death...
He is the Creator of my brain, which I exercise and grow every day, and that enables me to make wise and healthy choices. One such choice is understanding that at 5’2” I am no physical match for a 6’2” man. And so I am thankful for the many tools at my disposal that help me in my fight...my greatest tool is the one between my ears!
He is the Author of grace, which gives me the greatest freedom ever known because I am free to become the best ME I can be without guilt, worry, or condemnation from any other, and in so doing enjoy life to the fullest. Being the best me I can be includes my enjoyment of learning how to use various tools to protect my life and freedom, and my most rewarding task of teaching other women what I have learned so that they too can protect their own lives and freedom.
He’s that NQR that tells me something is “not quite right” and I, paying attention to that Wisdom, take appropriate steps to protect myself...which of course I am capable of because I have prepared (and keep on preparing) to do so! Being able to protect your life and freedom doesn’t happen miraculously in a vacuum, it happens because you work for it!
And so I have never been raped, tortured or murdered, and while it is entirely possible I might someday be overpowered, I unapologetically and with God’s blessing plan to maim and kill that person(s). I have no doubts about my ability to fulfill this plan because I have first learned what I teach my students, to care enough about myself to get beyond furious if someone dares to think they can assault me, and to turn that aggression adrenaline back on the would be assailant(s).
Now having many tools, including guns, to assist me in my ability to protect myself is a nicety, but it is not all encompassing. Most of the time all I have to do is turn on the aggression and the would be attacker quakes in his boots and runs away like the coward he is (it’s worked for me and for my students in real life many times over), but I am also prepared to go beyond that and cause bodily harm and death in any number of ways.
This is not bravado, it is confidence, a permanent part of my entire being for the very reason that God is my foundation.
I have this confidence because I know that God is the Creator of life and the Author of grace, and that means part of my God given freedom is His permission (and help) to PROTECT my own life! This couldn’t be more obvious to me, but then I have read the Bible cover to cover and considered its original and historical context to understand what it actually means.
I have a growing student following of some 300 women in the OKC metro, many of them guided by a Higher Wisdom than mine (or yours), and they come to me to learn to protect themselves so that they aren’t raped, tortured and murdered as even Christians are! And once in awhile ignorance does strike out at me but it is merely a mosquito, which I ponder momentarily and move on without a second thought to continue teaching those who want to be taught and have the capacity to learn.
May God continue to bless you and all of us who do His work in this field of training others to protect themselves!
Tactical – of or pertaining to a maneuver or plan of action designed as an expedient toward gaining a desired end or temporary advantage; showing adroit planning; aiming at an end beyond the immediate action. From the Greek word taktikós.
I mentioned a couple newsletters ago that I like to watch shows like Forensic Files and Cold Case Files because I use them as training tools to see ways people are victimized and therefore understand ways to prevent being victimized.
Again and again and again I see stories about women being killed. But they are not just "killed." We often assume that dying is the worst thing that can happen to us. It isn't. 99.9% of all of these women are tortured before they're killed. They're raped. They're cut up. When I see the crime scene photos sometimes it's difficult to tell it's a person, except for the clothes which tell you there's a woman somewhere in the mangled mess. These women did not die quickly. They died after being tortured, raped, cut up, shot, bludgeoned, begging and pleading for their lives.
A recent Cold Case File recounts a woman who went for a jog after work at a beautiful park in Michigan. No one realized until the next day that she was missing. A team of volunteers searched the park and a family friend found her body. He said, "I was in Vietnam, I saw a lot of dead bodies, but this really did something to me." About the attack a detective said, "His attack was swift and brutal. She was dragged off the hiking trail, down a ravine, subdued and stabbed to death. She was the victim of a blitz attack." (see below for definition). The unique component in this murder was that the suspect used flex cuffs to bind his victim – these are used by police officers as backup handcuffs.
A couple weeks later a woman is pulled over by a pickup truck with red & blue lights. A man wearing a hat with a sheriff star on it gets out of the truck but doesn't approach the vehicle so she gets out. He fires a warning shot in the air and says, "Come here." She said she decided she was not getting in the vehicle so she refuses and he then starts to try to drag her to his truck. She grabs onto the front of his vehicle and he's unable to get her in the truck. About that time other cars go by and he throws her in the road and leaves.
Another victim, a bartender, gets in her car after her shift and soon realizes she has a flat tire. She pulls over and immediately someone stops to help, it's a customer from the bar. He offers to give her a ride, takes her to his house and then rapes her at gunpoint. He tells her if she talks to the police he will kill her. She's lucky and makes it out with her life.
The attacker turned out to be a fireman impersonating a police officer – the photo they showed of him looked like a clean cut, every day guy...not a scary person you'd know to avoid, especially when you think he's a police officer, or in the guise of a helpful fireman.
Sixteen years after the fact he was convicted of second degree murder (not first which it obviously was) and sentenced to life in prison. The first victim's mother says, "Justice was served." but the only thing I could think was, "True justice would have been if any one of those women who was attacked had killed him."
Blitz attack - defined as a quick, sudden, violent, typically from behind (surprise) attack intended to throw the victim off guard and subdue her quickly. This kind of attack in particular no woman will be able to overcome or overpower the man carrying out the blitz. He is on her and she is subdued before she knows what hit her, and the attacker then does as he pleases. Therefore, you MUST see a blitz attack coming and prevent it BEFORE it happens, or go on the offensive before he can carry it through.
Victim #1 was completely unaware of her surroundings and she never realized the attacker was there so he was able to carry out a blitz attack. It was too late at the point she knew he was there to do anything about it. First of all, I wouldn't go to an isolated park by myself, if I did go to a place like this I would check the parking lot when I got there to see if there were other people present, but whether or not I saw any cars I would stay on constant alert – this means looking around at all times. A lot of us have MP3 players and like to listen to music while we exercise, but this can be very dangerous because you cannot hear what's going on around you. I no longer listen to music while I'm working out outside of my home.
Victim #2 should have NEVER gotten out of her vehicle. If you are ever stopped by a police officer, he or she will approach your vehicle and legitimate law enforcement want you to stay in your car. If you are ever in doubt, call 911 and make sure the one pulling you over is actually a police officer. However, once this woman realized something was wrong she fought hard and that is why she came out of it without being raped or killed.
Victim #3 most of her mistakes are quite obvious, but perhaps most blatant to me is that of course she was stalked, her attacker slit her tire and then followed her so that he was a "Good Samaritan" there to rescue her just at her time of need. We need to be aware of this, it's not because she was at a bar (a scary place to work), it could happen while you're in the grocery store in the middle of the day, so you should make a practice of observing your car when you come up to it – check for signs something is wrong with your car, is there broken glass? Is there a van with no windows parked right beside your driver's side that wasn't there before? Do you have a flat tire? I spend time on this in BTB, telling you what to look for and what to do about it.
In another Cold Case File, a 22 year old store clerk is murdered in the middle of the night in a small Texas town. An oil man is on his way to a rig emergency and stops at the store for gas. When he doesn't see a clerk, he goes into the store just as a man walks out of the back store room. Assuming this is the store clerk, he hands the man his credit card and goes back out. He sees the man fumbling inside, and finally the man walks out toward him, hands him his credit card and says he's not able to get the pumps turned on. The oil man thinks it odd, but simply moves on. A couple hours later another customer comes in and upon not seeing a clerk, sticks his head in the back room to see the store clerk in a pool of blood.
A detective on the scene says, "The back of her head was gone, I thought it was a shotgun blast." However, it was later determined the young woman died from eight blows to the head with some kind of blunt object. Detectives were surprised that nothing was missing, and all the cash was still in the register.
The way this murderer is caught is after 14 years of being abused by her husband, a woman goes to the police and turns him in, not only for abusing her and their children, but for murder...her husband had told her that he was the one who bludgeoned the store clerk to death 15 years prior. He told her the reason he did it was because he tried to buy a pack of cigarettes from the store and was short a little money and the clerk would not give him the cigarettes. So he came back a couple hours later and beat her to death with a hammer. He tells his wife that he told his father and his father burned the handle of the hammer and threw the metal part in a lake.
We think because it hasn't happened directly to us or someone we know, that it doesn't happen here. But last week in Dibble (about 30 minutes south of Oklahoma City), a woman and her two children were found dead in a burned up house trailer – a couple days later her boyfriend (I heard on the news she only dated him FOUR DAYS) was charged with murdering them. One news report states that the ME's report concluded that the boy (8) died of multiple stab wounds to the neck, the mother (25) died of multiple stab wounds to the abdomen, and the girl (6) died of smoke inhalation and thermal injuries. We might think the little girl was spared from dying a violent death, but she saw her mother and brother being killed before she died – the fire was to cover up the murder. Another news report states that court documents show that one of the female victims had a knife in her hand. So evidently the mother tried and failed to defend herself and her children.
Then there was Aja Johnston's mother who took her 7-year old daughter with her when she went to see her violent estranged husband...this man had abused them both for years, and yet for some unknown reason she put her child back in harm's way. Sadly, we all know how that ended. The mother was violently murdered by the ex, the 7-year old was kidnapped by the ex who did God only knows what to her for more than two months before he slit her throat and took the coward's way out by drinking antifreeze and killing himself. Their bodies were found in rural Norman.
Last August in the quiet little town of Anadarko the 61-year old female pastor of a small church there was violently murdered, slashed to death inside her church in the middle of the day. I heard reports from law enforcement that it was the worst, most unimaginable crime scene they'd ever encountered. That suspect is still at large, as is the suspect(s) that shot two little girls to death in the tiny little country town of Weleetka two years ago.
I am not reminding you of these horrible crimes right here in our own area to instill fear, I am reminding you so that you will understand that this is very real, and it is very near...no matter where you are, what state you live or travel in, violent criminals are there. There is one way and one way only to avoid becoming a victim, you must have the ability to AVOID (when possible) and STOP (when you can't avoid) someone from raping, torturing, and killing you. The way you acquire this ability is through training.
How horrible to die like the woman did last week, knowing her children are being killed, but how much worse it must be to realize you have no true ability to defend yourself or your children. How many of you at that moment in time would not use a shotgun if you had one and knew how to use it to obliterate the person attacking you and your children? What stops you from learning how to use a shotgun so well, be so comfortable with it, that you actually have the ability to use it to defend yourself if you ever need to? Scumbag with knife does not trump woman with a shotgun!
Some of you know me well enough to know that my motivation for teaching is not fame or fortune (like I have to worry about that, LOL!) but truly to prepare as many women as will come to me for training to defend themselves so that this does not happen to them.
Yes, this is in our own back yard...a blitz attack is what happened to Angie (see last month's Student Story) – we must be prepared to see these attacks before they hit us, never be caught unawares, and in the event we are surprised, respond swiftly and decisively.
Tools (various weapons) give us an advantage, and we as women should give ourselves every possible advantage we can. But, and this is what I thread throughout ALL of my classes, it's not just one weapon, it's not even necessarily a weapon (as you'll learn in "And Everything Else"), it is a mind-set, it is a preparedness, it is a determination to live, and a decision that you are worth it to your own self.
In closing I want to point out in the second Cold Case File above that based on his own retelling of the story, the Texas
oil man walked in just as the attacker was walking out of the back room after beating the clerk to death. The attacker tries to get the gas pumps going and when he couldn't, he took the time to walk out and give the oil man his credit card. Not once does the oil man feel threatened, and yet this young man had just beaten a woman to death with a hammer. What does that tell you about men not being prey?
Women are prey, men are not, we must understand this, and we must, must, MUST learn for ourselves how to truly defend ourselves. It's not the weapon...yes, some weapons give us a greater advantage, but there are many ways to defend yourself. Not one of us ever has to be a victim, and I for one would like to see the crime rate go down because there are less criminals...either because women just like you and me take them out if they dare to attack us, or because these scumbags start figuring out the next woman they attack just might kill them...either way works for me!
Contact me if there's a specific topic you'd like to see addressed in this section.
Easy access to your house through your garage
My best friend told me a story this week...she heard about this from a woman in Edmond who makes curtains and lives in a gated community so she thinks she’s safe. When my friend went over there to pick up some curtains, the woman’s garage door was open and my friend commented to her that that really wasn’t safe. The woman replied that, yes, she'd been worried about that, and then proceeded to tell her about someone down the street whose house got broken in to through the garage door. They hooked a coat hanger around the door release lever – you know, the one that we all have with the big red tag hanging on it (like the pillow tags) that says do not remove or the world will end (or something like that) – and with one tiny little pull of the coat hanger the door was instantly released, giving the robbers access by manually opening the door. My friend went right home and took the release rope off her garage door and put duct tape over the lever, which of course I did as soon as I got home after she told me that.
This had never occurred to me before, but when I looked at my own garage door I was alarmed at how easy this would be. Most garage doors have a rubber seal at the top (some have no seal, just a gap) which makes it very easy to slide a coat hanger through. It's very easy to hook the release lever and very little pressure releases your garage door, allowing it to be opened manually. I have opened my car door (back in the day before the fancy electronic locks) with a coat hanger and while it wasn’t easy, it was doable...but this is easy as pie. Very alarming, someone could be in in seconds, before anyone even had a chance to notice someone there, back a pickup into your garage, close the door, and they'd have complete privacy to clean out your house...let's hope you're not home when they do this.
Look at the below photo, #1 arrow points to the rubber seal (or gap) between the door and the wall where a coat hanger can easily be pushed through, #2 arrow points to the release lever. Go out and look at your own garage door while it's closed and you'll see what I'm talking about.
Here's a video on YouTube showing this being done – it takes the guy six seconds to get in the garage. Note that he doesn't even need to stand on a ladder outside the door.
My advice, take the release rope off and duct tape over the release lever – or use a zip tie to secure the release lever to the frame so it can only be released when the zip tie is cut.
And by the way, I tear those tags off the pillows too!